“I would define it as a longing for a home that no longer exists or
has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and
- Svetlana Boym - Nostalgia and its Discontents (2013)
Black Blood is a piece of work that deals with Tom Roche’s longing to understand his Romany Gypsy roots. A fragmented history and snippets of stories heard through the years of his childhood brought about questions years later, that could not be answered. Incomplete records and hypnotic familial anecdotes led him to change his approach; from that of a formal investigation, into more of a folkloric and esoteric meditation.
The prophet of Abram, written about in The Dialect of the Gypsies of Wales, was said to be the leader of the Welsh Romany clan, where Roche’s family lived a century ago. The mysticism of Abram and the untold stories reflect that of the work Tom is trying to make on his own understanding of where he sits in time.
Kaulo Ratti (Black blood), translated to mean a Gypsy of the purest type, plays with the dichotomy that Roche faces with the distance between him and his predecessors.
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